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Utah football notebook: Center Vyncent Jones is the new man in the middle for the Utes

Published: Saturday, March 23 2013 8:49 p.m. MDT

Utah offensive lineman Vyncent Jones (64) during practice at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 12, 2011.

Mike Terry, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a new man in the middle for Utah. Vyncent Jones is ticketed to be the Utes’ next starting center, stepping into a position held by Tevita Stevens the past two seasons.

“Right now the job is his,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. “He’s a guy that has not been in a lot of starting situations for us over the years, but has played a lot of good football for us.”

Whittingham added that the 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior from Jordan High School is a versatile player who can play all five spots on the offensive line. However, he said Jones is best suited for the interior.

“Right now he’s the No. 1 center,” Whittingham said. “And as long as he continues to play at the level he is, then that will be his job.”

It’s a role Jones enjoys. He likes making the calls.

“It’s a fun position,” Jones said. “You’ve got to be vocal. So I’m working on that.”

Jones admits he’s been a bit timid in that regard over his first few years with the program. Watching former teammates like Stevens, though, has helped inspire him to make a little more noise.

“So I’m just trying to work on that and make sure everybody knows where to go,” Jones said. “I’m just in there trying to do my best to get those guys going and be a leader.”

Starting quarterback Travis Wilson noted that things are going well. Wilson and Jones have worked together a lot in the offseason and are getting comfortable with one another.

“I definitely think he’s going to be the guy,” Wilson said. “I definitely believe he’s the smartest guy out there, so he’s going to be a great, great center for us.”

LIFE OF REILLY: Senior Trevor Reilly spent most of practice working on individual drills and running. The starting linebacker/defensive end is staying out of contact situations this spring after having a torn ACL and meniscus surgically repaired in December. He’s expected to be 100 percent by summer.

Reilly suffered the injury in spring ball last April, but went on to play in all 12 games last season — leading the Utes with 69 tackles.

“Somehow with my leg I was able to do it,” said Reilly, who wore a brace to protect his ailing right knee.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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